It can be challenging to travel, whatever your size. But plus-size travelers have struggles of their own… And there’s nothing like a little humor to discuss typical problems of plus-size travelers and bring awareness to our issues!
10) Needing more sunscreen than everyone else…
… when you go on a beach holiday.
9) Becoming the attraction
One of the reasons I like to travel is to SEE attractions. Not to BE one. Most of the time, people are more curious than mean, but still…
8) Travel-designed clothing hardly exists in plus sizes.
Good news though: sports clothes are an interesting alternative.
Hint: check out Tilley, a Canadian company that does have plus-size travel clothes for both men & women!
7) Finding gear that fits your size
Backpacks and waist packs, to name only these 2, can be quite dreadful to shop for when you are a plus-size traveler because their straps are often not meant for larger body sizes. Better shop in person for these items, because the straps length is pretty much never indicated on websites, and when it is, it’s hardly accurate…
6) Everybody expects you not to be in shape or that we need to rest every 2 minutes
If you don’t get a general awkward vibe when you join a group because you’re the only “chubby” person, chances are, the guide will always be looking back and ask if you’re OK, if you need to rest. It’s really annoying when people expect you to be out of shape, just because of your weight.
I work out, even if the stereotype doesn’t say so. (Sometimes I wish I could challenge them in a spin class battle !)
5) Ill-suited equipment / activities
Restaurant booth, tiny toilets stalls, equipment needed for an activity (as basic as flotation device), amusement park rides…
To avoid costly, cruel, or even humiliating disappointments, it’s worth contacting businesses and agencies organizing these types of activities beforehand to make sure their equipment is adapted to all body sizes.
The worst are probably airplanes, both the big commercial ones and the small local aircraft (I’m thinking of YOU tiny airplanes flying over the Nazca Lines!), but sometimes, even buses and train seats can be quite small for the generous silhouettes of plus-size travelers. Oh yeah, and those tray tables…
If you don’t want to end up with thighs and a butt covered with bruises (not cool if you’re heading to a beach destination), be careful with those pesky, narrow aisles!
3) Impossible (or very hard) to find plus-size clothing in MANY countries
Best of luck if you lose your suitcase… and that is why I’m always opting for # 2 (at least to get to my destination; it’s less of a big deal lose your stuff when you get home… (unless you get stuck on a layover AND they lose your luggage).
Hint: if you have a little extra budget, custom-made clothing can make awesome souvenirs to bring back!
2) Travel with a carry-on luggage only
The carry-on allocation is the same for everyone! But my panties and t-shirts are much bigger than the ones “regular” size people pack. Be creative and very, very minimalist! It’s the only way!
1) The 2 most dreaded words: CHUB. RUB.
Wherever you are, it will find you. NO SAFE PLACE TO HIDE! Just make sure you know how to put out the fire of chafed skin, if it ever occurs. Better: try to avoid it (it is possible).
Hint: anti-chafing shorts might save you from this terrible affliction!